Monday, July 30, 2018

2018 MOUNTAIN BIKE MASTERS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP - Vallnord, Andorra



2018 MOUNTAIN BIKE MASTERS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

 -  Vallnord, Andorra

Bronze, it's a Bronze! :-)




Race start and finish in beautiful Vallnord, Andorra


Jolanda Neff
Nino Schurter

 
Emily Batty

What a race! What an amazing adventure once again!

My whole season revolved around this one race. Long year, long journey, long distance to travel for such a short but such a powerful and meaningful event.

Cross Country mountain bike racing is hard. It always comes down to the smallest details, to the tiniest decisions made in the heat of the moment. Every second, literally every single one counts and you have to be as smart, composed and prepared as it gets.



I had my doubts within no doubts if I should be flying all the way to Europe to give myself one more opportunity to fight for a good finish on this wonderful course. Doubt had a few valid bases. One of them was that our XCC National Championship event was moved from what supposed to be two weeks after Andorra to the same week as Andorra. It was planned out so badly that my race in Europe was taking place on Tuesday of the same week and my USA race on Friday. And considering the crazy time change and packing and repacking the bike and somehow getting there somehow coherent and on time, it all was a big problem. How to even find connections that will bring me there on time without leaving here (Andorra) too early, just in case my race is postponed. Besides that, my finishing time last year was a solid 6th with me and Meaghan battling hard for the top 5 but also a deep understanding that top 4 was so far off our reach that it was not even encouraging in any way. You really have to be crazy or over optimistic to put yourself in the spot thinking you have any shot at the top 3, none the less the win. The no doubt part was simple, I wanted it. Like a little stubborn child, without any other better explanation or logical reason, this is simply what I wanted. Now I just need to figure out how to get it. And if you think you have a year to prepare and you have all what seems like time in a world, you are so wrong. Time flies by so quick, especially if you want to be everywhere and do everything if you want to do all Florida State series than some South Florida series, then endurance series, some local trail building fund events and the list just keeps on going. It simply went by so quick that It felt weird and little terrifying.



I did my calculations, the most generous, optimistic, “I got this” way of thinking way I could learning from my previous race there. I was some 9 minutes back off the winner last time, Lorena Zocca from Italy, some 6 minutes back to all top 4 women. I was 11 minutes back from the former Olympic medalist Marga Fullana who wins this race overall every single year for 8 years in a row now.  So, I thought of every little single section I did last time, I ran it all in my head how much time (seconds, it is all in seconds) I possibly could have improved by. The seconds started to add up. Whichever way I tried and it was not including any flaws or mistakes that in the best-case scenario I have a shot to be possibly 6 minutes faster. That is actually a lot and encouraging but that would still not put me in the medal position.



On top of that list of racers that I was going to go against this year was not something to not look at with a really good perspective. The last year winner and current world champion is coming back, the top 15 Olympian finisher will be in my class and the top 3 finisher from Vale di Sole two years back. There was more of course but those were already crazy strong and undoubtedly capable contenders.



We gave it a go, and arriving in the beautiful Andorra and seeing those mountains once again was just so fantastic. We watched a lot of racing days prior to my race from XCO to Downhill and met lots of top races in the country and had a blast. But it was time to focus on my own race.

My racing machine Zerouno Ambizione Jade was ready to go and set up in the best components that we felt were suitable for this type of terrain and the race. Just two weeks before I swapped my group set to SRAM Eagle XX1, I just put a new Kapic crank from Rotor, brand new Schwalbe tires that just came out. The lightest and most aggressive Selle SMP saddle that I own. Everything was top notch. We even upgraded my fork to a NDTuned custom fork(First in the World) and that’s why I traveled with an extra wheel to fit the boost fork in front. I had plenty amount of time to practice with the new fork and get used to this setup.



I loved riding here. The course was mostly the same as last year but the start and finish area was slightly moved and therefore somewhat modified. I really liked the change, it added a steep long climb right from the gate which was followed by awesome bermy slalom like descent with some small jumps in it. The end included some fast-single track with steep and sketchy climbs. I felt so much more confident here this year than I was last time. I enjoyed it last time but I loved it this time around truly. The course is so tough, so technical, so steep, so breath taking and so wonderful at the same time.

Race Day:

I was ready, I did my little warm up and went to staging. I was called out to the start line.
While I was standing in the first-row, a rider on the left of me looked down on my bar, which had a little scrabble I put on it the night before. She read it, smiled and said “but be smart”. I smiled back and told her that it was more something that simply makes me smile since it’s our internal joke from work that something to be taken literary. My bar said “Go fast and take chances”, I still smile when I think about it…

Right before the start when we are just nearing a minute away there is this amazing and crazy beautiful and emotional, for me at least, music playing, which suddenly stops and it sounds like a heartbeat right before we start. It is funny now but it is so incredible and powerful to simply just stand there and it is the hardest thing to keep your tears in check. The last thing you want to do is weeping on the start line.



Pom, pom, pom, pom, pom and we are off! Straight to the turn and long gravel laden climb. I was in front with some of the fastest ladies out there on our beautiful planet. I was not going to let go off the gas and kept on fighting. I got to the first slalom descent in a decent position. Soon after the trail turned upwards and we were climbing again. This time around things hurt much more and no one is simply jetting away, it’s simply impossible. Climbing here is real and altitude can be felt. Toward the top everyone’s legs start feeling like noodles but you have to keep going to the tiny descent that leads to the next, but very gradual climb, which just keeps getting steeper and steeper and has more funky roots. This is definitely the spot where you want to make sure you have legs to keep turning those Xpedo pedals, skills and stubborn mind to keep on fighting and making sure you don’t make mistake.



Then comes a rock garden. After we clear that it was the only a stretch that seems quite leveled. Here I noticed I was not that far away from Zocca, last year’s World Championship winner from my group. I wondered if I will be able to keep my eyes on her and hopefully stay close on the next, very long and very technical descent called Rampage. To my surprise Lorena was for most of that part the same distance ahead, well until my bike decided to start flipping me over near some infamous bed of roots which were followed by steep small drops. I managed somehow and very quickly to catch myself from completely losing it and recovered really quickly and despite the steepness, just clipped in and kept on going. I did come out of this section only a little below her. With each pedal stroke on the long and quite brutal Red Zone climb I was getting the gap smaller.



Than we went to a fast, grassy, another slalom like descent, feed zone 1 and one steeper climb ending with a big and steep descend to the forest. This section is pretty awesome, at times technical but mostly very fast, with big berms that turn into the technical La Massana climb. Lots of roots resides here, different lines and it does get steep. Not making a mistake here is a key and I actually felt very confident here and didn’t mind choosing the hard lines.


This is where I caught up to Zocca. After that, we had another even steeper and pretty long and narrow descent, which did flow into a really fast and rooty single-track that I adored. I was sitting on her wheel now, thinking when I will be making my pass. We have two really tough upward turns however coming up and I knew those were going to be tricky and everything needs to be as perfect as possible to make them with no mistake. I knew my lines and options well but didn’t expect or even think that the smallest root in this steep 180-degree turn would still be slippery. My back wheel slid off the root turning my bike completely and halting my climb. Putting a foot down here was the factor of losing those valuable seconds that will be so difficult to get back for the remaining of the race. That also opened an opportunity for the rider behind me to make a pass. Simply every little small second would and will count and the weight of any mistake is huge. My pass was not going to happen now and I lost my 3rd position. Soon after we were going through the famous NASA bridge, feed zone once again and to the finish.


We were all very close and I made my attack on the first climb again making a pass back toward the top, I took the harder line on the descent while the girl in 4th took the easier, somehow miraculously she did come out on the bottom of the next climb in front of me. Here we go again, now I know she is very good in descending and will be keeping that in my mind. I attacked the next grassy climb and passed her back. Climbing through the roots to the Cadellas natural rock garden was getting more and more brutal on the following lap. I knew I had to be here mind strong and even stronger on the descents. Red zone climb was getting now to everyone, and looking up you would see only, sweat, glare, and have no pray to see the end of it. It was kind of no point looking up, just put your head down and keep on grinding. Lap by lap went by and pretty much gaps stayed the same way between all of us. But they were so small that once again every single second was going to count and count big. I knew I have to stay really focused and powerful on all the climbs and could not make any mistakes, like completely any on anything. The smallest mishap could cause not getting on the most important podium so far in my life. The pain in my body when I approached the rooty climb for the 4th time was indescribable, I simply looked to the side for a second and thought how amazing it would be to just faint or sit down and not have to keep on climbing. But instead I had to look inside and tell myself, Beata just one more time, and I gave all the energy I had mentally and physically to push through it and stay clear on all those vicious roots.


















 














Going to Rampage was another concern and I was very comfortable with it, but knowing how technical this descent is you just never can count on everything going smooth, but when it does happen of course it is great. I had to have good speed here however since the girl behind was a good descender, coming out of there before her would be the key. I knew I can handle the climb and remainder of the course well. And it did happen, I was in 3rd and Lorena in 2nd was just 20 seconds ahead. My Pax was somewhere toward the top and said “2nd place is just 20 seconds ahead” I knocked my head as I did know and he said “just letting you know”. And I was completely aware of it and really played a little back and forth battle on the red zone climb with myself thinking if I should try to attack harder and risk not riding clean to the rest of the lap and race and possibly sacrificing my position for greediness. Or to listen to my body and ride hard, ride on the edge of my limits but limits and efforts that I know I can handle. It was tough and I had to decide it really quick. I stayed at my pace, went down to the forest, slalom downhill, tough climbs, technical drop and the fast section one more time that ends with those two really tough turns and climbs. This was probably the most important part at this moment and key point of the race. If I pushed just a little harder a few minutes ago I would be very vulnerable of making mistakes here, that would cost me seconds, which could cost me a podium. Because I decided to race within myself and my limits I cleared the first one and soon after the second one flawlessly. Now I just had a grass stretch to NASA bridge for one more time and fast section to the feed zone and finish. I was standing up, pedaling now like there is no tomorrow, I felt like I had wings, I forgot how much pain I was in and had to endure to get to this moment. One more climb to the Finish and the stage. I crossed the finish line only 25 seconds from Lorena Zocca, last year’s World Champion and 3x Italian champion. I won my first medal on the world stage. That was the most amazing feeling. Lorena, a few days later went to and won another Italian National Champion title when I was flying to WV to compete in my XC Nationals. The following week she won the European Title as well.  Kiara Bisaro won the race and the whole event overall, she was so fast that she beat Marga Fullana, bronze Olympic medalist. What a company to race with…

So, it happened, I was not sure if I should be going and racing here but I did and by doing so I allowed myself to be able to stand on a World Championship podium and win my first ever medal.


Having a bronze in such an event against such strong competition and still have such a close race for second place was more than I could dream of. I ended up not improving as I calculated by 6 minutes but by full 9! I was not any longer 10, 11 minutes back from an Olympic medalist but only 2, woman that won this race overall 8 consecutive times. I was and still am proud of myself and how I handled this race. I could not ask for being stronger, composed, focused and determined that I was on that day.

It was truly the most amazing ending to my biggest, most ambitious, buzziest, biggest season ever. What I had planned after that was also going to be very hard but the pressure was thankfully coming down drastically here. I felt complete.


The award ceremony was fantastic. The time I spent with the ladies that I was racing and sharing the podium with was really amazing too. They are both very incredible women, strong, driven, talented but so kind at the same time. We become friends very quickly and I really cannot wait to see them again and race and ride bikes together.



This event not only brings the best talent out there but also the biggest passion and it really showed.
Winning this medal was not only a culmination and reward of all my work that I did put in for so many countless years. But what more important it was a win for everyone around me. For my husband Pax who is there for me supporting and sharing my dreams, to the point that they blend in and become our dreams. So, making it happen for both of us was really amazing and I am happy I could do it with him. It also applies to all my sponsors and supporters throughout the years, some being there for me from the beginning of everything, when I was just starting the race and we would share together all those moments and journey and ever-growing desire to dream big.

I fell in love with the mountains here, rushing rivers, wildflowers, changing weather…

It was really hard to leave Andorra so soon the next early morning after the race.

We had a nice small dinner with a group of friends in a little town tavern on the river’s edge. People do come here with big dreams and tons of hard work put in and it is a chance to really become friends with really great people.

We took a small walk up to the Nature park and the moment I started climbing, I kept telling myself just a little more and little more. I didn’t want to stop, I didn’t want to turn around. There is something so mysterious, rough, beautiful in those mountains.

Andorra will stay in my heart forever.

And we were able to make a little piece of history here…

Thank you goes to:

ZeroUno Bikes, Spaziale Compositi, Riders Only Bikes, Castelli, Magura, Removu, NDTuned, Limar Helmets, Schwalbe, Rotor Bike Components, Squirt Lube, SelleSMP, Trainer Road, ESI Grips, Clif, Xpedo, Garden of Life, Kuat Racks, Oakley, KMC Chains

Monday, June 25, 2018

USA Cycling Marathon Mountain Bike National Championships - Arkadelphia,AR - National Champion



USA Cycling Marathon Mountain Bike National Championships - National Champion!

I did it once again!

Write up coming soon...
















Removu K1


Removu K1


Capture your life like a movie!
Capture it in stunning 4K video
Film yourself easily with ‘Selfie’ mode

https://removu.com/k1/

At Sea Otter Classic in beautiful Monterey California I had an opportunity to open up brand new K1 unit that I just received and pretty much right from the box start taking awesome videos.
In matter of few minutes I was able to learn how to operate it. It was fun. K1 went with me all around the expo area with over 400 vendors. I was able to use normal and selfie mode and keep flipping in between so everyone can see that I am taking part of the experience.
I had fun recording some pro racing action as well as capturing really stunning videos of the ridiculously beautiful landscape of the rugged west coast.

Shortly I will be putting some videos together for all of you to enjoy.

Nowadays I do not travel without it!







Sunday, June 3, 2018

Sea Otter Classic Expo and Sponsors



Sea Otter Classic Expo and Sponsors.



Magura Team

Lake Cycling

Squirt Lube

SelleSMP

Kuat Racks

KMC Chains

Xpedo

Clif Bar

Rotor

Rotor

Squirt

Squirt

Schwalbe

Oakley




Sea Otter Classic - Monterey CA



April 22nd - Sea Otter Classic - Monterey CA

New Year, New Bike, New Team and New Bike Shop. This will be an awesome beginning of a really wonderful journey...

1st Place - Cat 1 - Women and 5th Overall

Sea Otter Classic 2018 is in the history books once again.

2018 ZeroUno Ambizone HT built and maintained by Riders Only in Jupiter Florida. Spaziale Diamante Handlebars, Seatpost, 25mmID Wheels and Ceramic Bearings everywhere. Castelli Custom San Remo Speedsuit. Schwalbe Racing Ralph and Rocket Ron's tires 29*2.25. Extralite 70mm Stem. Magura MT8 Raceline Brakes with Storm SL.2 160mm Rotors. SquirtLube Chain lube, Sealant and Barrier Balm. Rotor InPower 170mm Crank with 30t Q-Ring DM. Limar Helmet. Oakley Prizm Radarsunglasses. SelleSMP Carbon Saddle. XpedoM-Force 8 Ti SPD Pedals. ESI Fit CR grips. KMC 11 Speed Chain DLC, Clif Gels and Electrolyte drinks. Garden of Life supplements. Removu S1 Gimbal and a Gopro 6 to record the race course. TrainerRoad to train with on my Cycleops Hammer trainer.



What a massive race and even bigger the venue and bike festivities which are going around for many days.


My last and only time that I raced here was in 2015, the course was slightly different but not by a lot. Few extra miles were added this year as well as some extra few hundred feet of climbing, lets call it a special treat for those Floridian legs! Ha-Ha. Last time coming from flat Florida, it did work out for me even though I had to climb quite a few thousand feet in such a short amount of time and I ended up winning the race. It was a blast, the day and my race was a perfection too and those don’t come easy or often. I could not have asked for more.



I was a little apprehensive to this year’s trip, since replicating this perfect day and result was going to be a mission not easy to accomplish. And the pressure of course would be there as well as expectations. If you win something once it would be natural to be expected to do so once again. Taking all this baggage off my shoulders was not going to be easy, but I had to focus on the task at hand, enjoy the moment, enjoy the scenery, welcome the opportunity and another chance of doing great presented to me.

I was happy to unite here with my Zerouno Team and teammates, ride the course together and spend some time off the bike too and get to know each other. It was really great to meet everyone in person and have some quality time. I also appreciated and enjoyed so much meeting all my sponsors and supporters once again. This is exactly what made this race and trip so much more special, since as I always say, this is way more than a race…



Our pre-ride was fun, the whole course was fast and pretty flowy. Of course, there were lots of climbing and new for me sections with steep and washed out from the rain, narrow ridge like areas and lots of sand. Those were tough during the practice ride as well as during the race, and not just for me but everyone else. We all suffer at the similar rate so the course was going to be hard enough for everyone, especially with those 4 thousand feet of climbing with the full exposure to the sun.



The race day did come quickly enough and I was ready to go. I had 2 bottles on me and had no idea if anyone will be able to get to the feed zone located some 13 miles away to give me more water. I had to make it work and decided to shovel the second bottle in the back on my jersey. By the way, it was time to show off my first ever speed suit custom made by Castelli. It was soft and snug but also very comfortable and my bottle and some Co2 and extra gels fit perfectly.


It was not that cold on the start line like 3 years ago but It was not steaming hot. I didn’t know if I will be feeling the pressure or not but I ended up once again being cool like a cucumber. There is something with this far away from home racing that somehow is easier on the mind, maybe because most of the people that we are racing are unknown and you really cannot know what to expect. Only thing that can be controlled here and done right is to be focused on yourself and my own performance and ride to my best ability. Having a great time along the way is a bonus, and that’s something that is constant when I am racing, not a matter of how much it hurts. I simply enjoy the moment!



10 seconds, and we are off. No one started crazy fast but rather at a smooth but strong pace. I made sure I stayed in front and watched the field. We went around the Laguna Seca Raceway and we were all tucked in and staying organized. I made sure to keep my position and keep it there until things will require a change. I was in 5th/ 6th spot and shortly we were about to approach the first dirt climb from the raceway.


The moment we hit the dirt the shuffle began, everyone was pushing to the front but no one was moving fast enough to get away. I was slightly moving forward and making progress toward the front of the field, after we passed the fence and were freed into the main course I had to be in top three. There was only one small downhill separating us from the first long and pretty steep climb. I pushed on the gas and made another pass, seconds later I looked ahead and there was only one more rider ahead of me getting up the hill. I did catch up and had to decide quickly if I stay here or what my next move was going to be. It was the most aggressive rider in the group and I was right on her wheel. I felt this sudden rush of power going through my legs and felt I can do much more than that so I pushed the gas hard. I stood and hammered up the hill like it was sprint to the finish, not the start of a 32 mile race. It felt good, I had Dewet from Squirt capturing the moment and cheering me on when I was leading the pack to the top of the climb.


There after reaching the top things became beautiful, whole view just opens up and you can see for many miles in every direction, the sun is up, the wind is strong and the only thing waiting for me is this long and loose and ridiculously fast descent. I am the leader here now and can dictate my pace. Toward the end of the decent and the long way of rolling hills I did catch up already to the rider from the group ahead. I thought it was crazy fast to see already people from other groups in front but it happened. The moment I got on her wheel we did hit the first small section of single track, I didn’t have anywhere to go and ended up having the other aggressive girl from my class catching up and making a quick pass when the path finally opened up and spit us out on the road. So, we had this trio of us now on the long stretch of asphalt. The speed was high and we were going mostly downhill, half of the road was conned away and girls were using up a big chunk of the middle. I just sat there and didn’t bother to stress about it or try to take risks here to pass. It took some patience and minutes were ticking away, but there was a light, I saw the next marker into the first true single track which was facing uphill and was going to be really winy and will last what seems like forever. I got closer, waited, waited, and made the move the moment the last cone disappeared. I rounded both riders and charged into the dirt path with wings filling up my soul. I knew it was the moment, this was the time for me to once again hit that gas and never look back.

I felt strong and the path narrowed quickly. Small and dense poison oak bushes were the only thing here, besides really sudden blind turns and coming out of nowhere roots that one had to dodge. Sun was already beaming full strength down. In a matter of minutes, I was catching up to other riders, male and female. It was really hard to pass here, it was hot, I was pushing hard, breathing hard and had to find a way to ask for a pass and make a pass in those narrow corridors. I looked back a few times but didn’t see anyone familiar besides people I just passed. Path did finally open up. It was a gravel road, I saw groups of ladies ahead, I was tired but I pushed on the gas even harder. I was determined not only to catch up to them but also to pass them as soon as I could. The wind was strong again and not only was I fighting the gravel, the small grade but also a headwind. I was still making passes and moving forward with a lot of force. One girl sat on my wheel and hung with me for a bit, other in front let me go by again. I didn’t cozy up with any of the groups for much amount of time, it was the Hi and Bye approach, I tried to be quick here. The next single track was rough too, much steeper, also narrow and ground was bumpy and washed out. Tons of new riders were ahead and waiting to be passed, little to their knowledge at the time. It was all going by smooth but taking a lot of energy. So even though it was costly it was still worth the effort to keep getting away and covering the distance as fast as possible. I had on the horizon another group of girls and once again we were in a new section of single track, I had no way to pass here and had to wait. We did come out to the gravel road which shortly culminated with this crazy steep, deep sand, hike a bike section with the ridge like riding on top. I was making my passes on the climb and the top of the dirt, I had to stay with some of the riders however on the descent with was like a never-ending sandbox and bike was just sliding left and right. For some reasons we were catching up to some younger riders. The trail opened up again and I was on the gravel, I remember passing here a few guys and catching one girl ahead. I asked her if she knew what position she was in and she said she was in 3rd. A few seconds later I did my thing and I was gone. I jetted away in the pursue of whatever was lying ahead. I was already on the second water bottle which I was able to switch on the hike a bike section, now I can only hope it will be enough to finish the race. I passed the feed zone, the only feed zone that was there, I remembered this section well from the last time I raced here. It turned quickly to a beautiful single track with olive tree looking like orchad feel. It was pretty narrow, fast, I had more riders to pass. After that there was another section like this with a very steep climbing and more olive like trees, it was a pretty part but also very painful, everyone suffered here and it showed. It was a busy area and I had to ask a lot of riders to be able to go by. The climbs were steep now all the time, it was not going to get easier, it was the testing time. Somewhere toward the top I passed another girl. When I asked, she confirmed what positing she was in, she was 2nd in the whole class ahead of me. Apparently, I was doing really good, not only I was leading my whole class but was in front of class that started 2 minutes before me. I knew exactly who was in the winning position here, the only person left was my team mate Monica and I was sure she was already far away gone. What took place after that was even more testing, the trail opened up once again into a few constant miles of pure climbing, double track, full sun, tons of tired riders ahead, empty water bottles and half way through the climb, monster inner thigh cramp. I never got that before when riding and I looked ahead and there was much more climbing and it was getting even steeper. Some people defaulted to walk. This was a true testing time now and I looked back and I saw someone in a red kit, something that reminded me of the girl from my class that was trying to fight me from the start and was anxious to lead.

I was not really sure if it was simply someone else and I had nothing to worry about. Either way I had to figure out quickly my cramp situation, I had to slow down, massage my leg while still biking and take it a little easier until things settled. I got to the top and I was crazy happy to see my Pax here, who thankfully had a little extra drink for me here, it was much needed. He was happy to see I was going pretty strong and there were only 5 miles more left to go but he was not sure what position I was in since there were a few other women ahead. I did catch up to another girl from a previous class again and ended up going back and forth with one of the top riders from 19-29 class and trying still hard to make as good time as possible. We were working together making passes on the male riders ahead. The climb to the top was steep but I got my wings back, the mountain opened up once more and in seconds we did get on the fast descents. There was lots of single track now with varying terrain, bumpy, lots of turns, narrow, constant up and downs, all fast and all painful. You forget here however about all the exhaustion and everything else, you can almost taste the finish line. So even though it does spread for few miles, the feeling is there, the end is so near, no matter what energy is still there is being put out and into good use. I was still charging, I looked back again and saw one more time the red kit, I mentioned it to the girl I was riding with, she confirmed she was from her class. I could have backed off but I didn’t. I said to her “you can do it” and we were charging forward not letting her catch me or her. I was leading again and let her stay on my wheel. We were still passing guys, lots and lots of riders. There was only steeper climb ahead, I remember how painful this one was, lots of people opted to walk, but not me. I knew I will be making it all and I will be going fast no matter how much it hurts. I think the girl could not hang with me anymore, there was a little section of single-track left, sharp left turn that I remember so well, steep sandy climb and crazy rewarding feeling of my tire hitting the pavement of Laguna Seca raceway once again. Fast descent and big right turn into the monster bridge with a banner Sea Otter Classic written across, it was all that was left. I flew to the finish once again, with a thrill, with a joy, with a huge feeling of accomplishment.


 




Right away after crossing the finish line I saw my Pax and Ronny waiting for me, my team mate Monica was right there too. Instantly my eyes started to tear up. I don’t know why but emotions took over and it did get me just like it did last time. It was so rewarding and incredible to win here one more time. I won, I won this amazing big race once again, not only winning my group but placing 5th overall.



I felt like now I can finally relax and enjoy. What an incredible moment, what a nice finish to all the work that I put into preparing for it this year. I was happy to win here not just for me, but in front and for all the people that had been supporting me for so many years. This is where all my supporters could experience first-hand and share my victory with me and I could bring to them my Sea Otter winner’s jersey and medal in person.



I wanted to make them proud as well as my Pax. I was happy I was able to make it happen once again. Monterey had been really good to me and I am very grateful for that.

The following day was wonderful, myself and my husband decided to take our time and drive in a lot of scenic areas of the coast and had a beautiful breakfast off Carmel beach where we took the most gorgeous and amazing morning walk.



Drove through the famous 17-mile drive and Pebble Beach. And continued the trip all the way up to San Francisco and the Golden Gate bridge with numerous stops along the way with the most scenic view and really good times to remember.

Had some time to catch up with some of the Pro's as well.








































What a trip!

 Thank you goes to:

ZeroUno Bikes, Spaziale Compositi, Riders Only Bikes, Castelli, Magura, Removu, NDTuned, Limar Helmets, Schwalbe, Rotor Bike Components, Squirt Lube, SelleSMP, Trainer Road, ESI Grips, Clif, Xpedo, Garden of Life, Kuat Racks, Oakley, KMC Chains